Tag Archives: judaism

A Plea for Tolerance

As we see in the media all too often, homosexuality is one of the most highly debated social issues of our day. At an age when people begin exploring, questioning, and experimenting with their sexuality, I constantly hear different opinions and views on the topic. Growing up in a Jewish community, I’ve been exposed to [...]


The Crime of Denial

Boston’s renowned Maimonides School was established by Rav Soloveitchik in 1937, and it maintains a reputation for providing some of the most advanced learning Jewish day schools can offer. This past fall, it offered a variety of history courses to the senior class, including AP Government, Art History, and, amongst others, a Minorities in America [...]


Reasons I’ve Heard For Being Orthodox

Sooner or later, most Orthodox Jews face the big questions. Why be Orthodox? What is our justification? One prominent rabbi publicly said that he doesn’t think that we have given these subjects the proper thought. Another, in private, invoked a platitude of “bringing light into the world” through Judaism as his reason for being Orthodox. [...]


Leopold Bloom, Gentle Jew

I The ever-insouciant, controversial Irish writer James Joyce (1882-1941), in what is arguably his most notorious and fêted work, Ulysses (1922), introduced the Odysseus of his Odyssey with the following words: “Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls.” In that brief description someone begins to take shape. Known as [...]


Following the Beat of a New Drummer: Prayer for the Modern Age

“Why in God’s name do we pray the amidah three times a day?” is a question that I used to ask myself several years ago in Yeshiva. For even if I assumed that every word said to the Queen of Queens was crisply pronounced and accompanied by the requisite kavanah, or proper intensity, I realized [...]


Environmentalism in Judaism

At first glance, Judaism’s perspective on modern issues like environmentalism seems unclear. People often ask how Judaism responds to a new phenomenon, but the question itself is slightly distorted. The mishna in Avot (5:22) tells us to “delve deeply into it [the Torah] for everything is contained in it.” The notion that Torah is all-encompassing [...]


My Conversion: A Confession

Stranger, you know me even if you don’t. (My friends, I’m sorry if this is how you’ll learn.) You know me because I am your classmate; I am an acquaintance, your neighbor or brother. There is a possibility that we have spent thirteen years in the same school, or have seen each other every Shabbat [...]

Eldridge Street Synagogue

Searching for Sacred Space

“For religious man, space is not homogenous . . . there is, then, a sacred space . . . there are other spaces that are not sacred and so are without structure or consistency, amorphous. . . . This spatial homogeneity finds expression in the experience of an opposition between space that is sacred — [...]


Female Sexuality: Willingly Suppressed in the Orthodox World?

Author’s Note: This article contains a discussion about female sexuality. People who are sensitive towards such topics are forewarned.  To read a response to this article, please see https://thebeaconmag.com/2012/04/letters-to-the-editor/female-sexuality-a-wifes-letter-to-the-editor/. [This link was incorrect before but has since been updated.]  I consider myself a pretty open-minded person. My friends and acquaintances know this about me and [...]